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Leader of Souls to the Polls wants voters to feel safe, April 7 election moved

WISN Milwaukee logo WISN Milwaukee 3/26/2020
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As of now, the Wisconsin spring general election and presidential primary will go on as planned, but Wednesday, one of the most compelling requests for a postponement came from someone with a first-hand view of how the coronavirus might impact this election.

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"Every person in Wisconsin should feel safe when they cast their ballot," said the Rev. Greg Lewis, president of Souls to the Polls.

Lewis led the charge to get more people to the polls on April 7. Now, he's hoping no one will have to go the polls on that day.

"We're calling on Gov. Tony Evers to use his emergency powers to postpone the primary election on April 7," Lewis said.

And he has a powerful reason for his request.

Lewis has tested positive for COVID-19. He along with two others who have also tested positive, including State Rep David Bowen, say the polls may be unsafe, and too many people may be too sick to vote in two weeks.

"I can't even explain to you how bad it is. A few weeks ago, I was ready to knock down walls and move mountains. Now, I can barely get out bed," Lewis said.

On Monday, Evers stated his desire to keep the election as-is, and Republican leaders echoed that Wednesday.

"That seems to me that would undermine the election if you don't allow the process to continue as we are,"Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said.

"I think there's a certain group of citizens that have voted at the polls for many, many years and that's what their exception is," Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said.

"You ask everybody to stay home and then you tell everybody that we're going to have a vote on April 7. That just doesn't make sense to me," Lewis said.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has raised concerns about having enough poll workers, and keeping them safe. Some communities have already decided to consolidate polling sites, reducing the need for more workers.

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